Ben Lang at Road to VR has written: ‘Sansar’ Will Open to All in First Half of 2017 with a New Approach to Virtual Worlds.
Ben repeats the Lab’s emphasis that Sansar is NOT Second Life 2. Ben explains the Second Life (SL) was a single large persistent world. He never mentions that SL was originally intended to be a virtual world platform for game prototyping. Users changed that idea.
Sansar is explained as being a platform more than a virtual world. Sound familiar? Go back and read some of the 2004 to 2008 promotional information.
Ebbe Altberg, CEO Linden Lab and director of Sansar, says the Lab never decided if SL was for developers or users. That has changed in Sansar. It is for developers and developers will deal with attracting users… right.
Rather than a single large world, Sansar will be like the Internet where people hop from page to page… So, we will hop from world to world… or game to game… experience to experience… something.
This new structure is supposed to save people from the problem of discovery. In the SL blogosphere, what I call travel sites, are popular because finding things is difficult. The Destination Guide hasn’t solved the problem. Probably because people fail to find it. So, solving the problem of finding things within Sansar is moving out to Google and developers.
The solution is like the one used by YouTube. If you search Google on how to make textures, models, or repair something then you get a list of possible articles and a few applicable videos. Now we will be able get Google/Bing result lists with virtual worlds within Sansar included.
If one searched for 1920’s Berlin, the Sansar version would show up as the VR model of Berlin.
Developers will have various ways to make money. Just as some regions in SL require membership in a group to gain access to a region or to gain full use of things in the region, so too will Sansar developers be able to charge for access or for the use of things in their ‘experiences’ (world).
Creators/developers were starting with Sansar in 2015. To date 1,000 have been admitted, 10,000 have signed up for access.
In regard to VR, Ben found the ability to move things was marred by the system sluggishly following his hands in attempts to pick up and throw things. But, things could be picked up and thrown.
The hype about VR is dying down. We are still likely to see VR gain popularity as the cost of headsets comes down. VR adoption probably won’t be as fast as many thought. So, it is again hard to predict how Sansar will do with its VR capability.
That leaves us to wonder how well it will do with it’s 2D-screen 3D? Will SL people move over?
Remember that Longevity study done in SL? The main thing that brought people back was the interaction with other people. At this point the huge world of SL is working against it. People are too spread out, less interaction, less retention.
How is retention going to work if we have lots of separate rooms with few or no people in them? We have a catch 22. Developers are going to have to figure out how to get search position for their world/experience/game. Not easy. We can see the Destination Guide with region pages seldom lands any in search results. Will the Lab do a better job with Sansar? We’ll have to see.
But, people surprise us and do odd things we never thought they would do. Only time will tell.